Author Topic: Caring for Silver?  (Read 2569 times)

Offline Black November

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Caring for Silver?
« on: April 23, 2013, 09:10:52 AM »
How does one care for silver? Is it even nessesary?

I heard (on Pawn Stars :) ) that you should never clean silver antiques or historical coins because it will greatly decrease the value. That being said, the small amount of silver bullion that I have is newly minted coins or bars that have no historical value. Should I wear cotton gloves when handling the silver to avoid getting oils from my hands on the silver? Is there a simple way to clean the ones I already handled to bring back the newly minted shine?  Is this something that I should even worry about?

Offline cmxterra

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Re: Caring for Silver?
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2013, 09:13:33 AM »
Just leave it alone. It will be fine

Offline David in MN

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Re: Caring for Silver?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2013, 09:25:11 AM »
Mine's in paint cans in the garage on advise from Gerald Celente. Good luck guessing which ones. Never had a problem. I don't see a need to clean any of it. You definitely want to keep it from moving. I keep one silver dollar in my pocket at all times to illustrate economics and it is polished bright. I'm sure it has lost some value in terms of rubbing off some silver but eh, it's only one.

My vote: don't clean it, store it. Should be fine.

Offline Crazy Fox

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Re: Caring for Silver?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2013, 12:56:01 PM »
I'd say that cleaning is a bad idea for anything other than newer decorative silver that has no real historical/collector/trade value.

Cleaning removes the oxide layer from the object, exposing the shiny unoxidized metal beneath. Unfortunately, silver will inevitably start forming a new oxide layer as soon as you strip off the old one because you have a new surface for oxygen to react with the silver to form new oxide.

If you continue cleaning it over the decades, you WILL lose some silver from your object by stripping off layers of silver oxide. Maybe it won't be anything worth worrying over, but there will be a loss. Besides, cleaning is a pain anyway :D

Offline Taylor3006

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Re: Caring for Silver?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2013, 03:57:57 PM »
How does one care for silver? Is it even nessesary?

I tend just to dump it all on the bed and roll around in it nekid.....  Seriously though, you don't have to do anything special to keep it, rolled and put away works quite well. Remember to handle it with clean hands and it won't tarnish or if you have collectors grade coins, to wear cotton gloves.

Offline cliffyp

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Re: Caring for Silver?
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2013, 10:32:47 PM »
I try and say at least one nice thing to mine everyday, that way it will know I still care.

Offline Dainty

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Re: Caring for Silver?
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2013, 01:39:29 AM »
Definitely don't clean any coins of historical/collector's value. Former avid collector, here. I shudder at the thought.

Silver bullion - it kinda just depends on what you want to do. Instinctively, if you care about a coin's value then you want to keep it in as good of condition as you feasibly can. This is especially true with coins in uncirculated condition, since marks are so easily acquired and seen. If you have lots of them, then keeping them in rolls and not emptying them out to play with them is the best care. If you want to handle them, coin holders like these will let you look them over to your heart's content without affecting their condition.

The "shine" isn't as important as having a coin that's free of visible wear/scratches.

It's hard for me to see any coin as having no collector's value, because if you wait long enough any coin has collector's value, it's simply a question of how much. My dad tells me about how in his young coin collecting days he was sorting through rolls and rolls of silver trying to pick out the few he wanted. He'd then return the rest to the bank! He has some brand new rolls of pennies and nickels that have never once been opened, ever. At the time, they weren't worth much. And now, they definitely would be.

I'm not saying what you have will increase in value anytime soon, but it seems best to keep your coins in good condition just to make sure you're maintaining the most value for whatever happens.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 01:47:47 AM by Dainty »

Bonnieblue2A

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Re: Caring for Silver?
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2013, 08:29:04 AM »
How does one care for silver? Is it even nessesary?

I heard (on Pawn Stars :) ) that you should never clean silver antiques or historical coins because it will greatly decrease the value. That being said, the small amount of silver bullion that I have is newly minted coins or bars that have no historical value. Should I wear cotton gloves when handling the silver to avoid getting oils from my hands on the silver? Is there a simple way to clean the ones I already handled to bring back the newly minted shine?  Is this something that I should even worry about?

I have never heard of not cleaning silver antiques. Sliver plated items can have the plating worn off by too much polishing but not solid sterling items. Yes, wearing cotton gloves diminishes the required polishing for silver items (non-coin). I will tell you that cooking certain things in your home will accelerate the tarnishing process. My mother would never boil shrimp indoors for that reason. Forced gas heating will also accelerate silver tarnishing.

 I wouldn't polish silver coins. If you are concerned about tarnishing you can store them in protective cloth or place a protective strip of paper designed for just such use in with your silver.